November 11, 2006
Claim: Cat Stevens Financed Terrorists, Tied to Radical Clerics
The Jawa Report has obtained evidence that Yusuf Islam, the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens, was once connected to radical clerics Omar Bakri Mohammed & Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman. According to at least one credible source, he was also involved in terrorist financing.
In an online voice chat from exile in Lebanon where he fled after British authorities banned several groups connected to him, Bakri told followers that various prominent Muslims would once frequent his office. Among those listed is Cat Stevens.
Bakri Mohammed has urged Muslims in the U.K. to fight British troops in Iraq and elsewhere, justified the 7/7 London bombings, and has publicly called for the murder of all who blaspheme the Muslim prophet Muhammed. Several followers of Bakri Mohammed have been arrested for their public calls for the murder of blasphemers. At least one has been recently been convicted.
The online chat was captured by Glen Jenvey who is part of an organization that secretly monitors the activities of radical Muslims who support terrorism. Jenvey, who we have worked with in the past and who has helped convict several high profile terror supporters, contacted The Jawa Report about the recorded conversation shortly after he captured it. The audio recording was made in what Bakri Mohammed believed was a private chat between himself and his radical followers.
But there's more. Bakri also claimed that Cat Stevens was an intimate of convicted terrorist Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman. When the Egyptian born cleric, better known as "The Blind Sheikh", would visit Britain, "Yusuf Islam used to sit near to him and ask him whatever he want [sic]."
Bakri then suggests that Cat Stevens also helped support Abdel Rahman's family financially. He also claims that Yusuf Islam knowingly sent money to the families of "the mujahidin" in Egypt. Giving money to the families of so-called 'martyrs' is a way for Muslims to support terrorism indirectly and yet remain shielded from most legal ramifications.
Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman is head of the same group that murdered 58 tourists near Luxor, Egypt, and he is currently serving a life sentence in the U.S. for a conspiracy to blow up targets in the United States.
Yusuf Islam was denied entry into the United States in 2004 after his name appeared on the "no fly list". The Muslim convert sued two British newspapers, The Sun and The Sunday Times, for libel because they had claimed that the U.S. Transportation and Security Administration had correctly identified him as a supporter of terror in the past. The papers settled the lawsuit out of court and apologized to Yusuf Islam.
But the new recordings by Glen Jenvey of Omar Bakri Mohammed call into question the denials made by the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens. In the past, Islam has appeared at numerous fundraisers for the charitable arms of terrorist organizations. At least one of those organizations has been tied to al Qaeda.
When a death fatwa was issued by top Iranian clerics on the head of Salman Rushdie, Islam said that he would turn Rushdie over to the Ayatollah Khomeini or his followers should the author show up on his doorstep. Islam later apologized but has continued his "peace work" by supporting Islamic charities with ties to radical groups and terrorist organizations.
Yusuf Islam has also been invited to perform at this year's Nobel Peace Prize ceremony.
However, if there is one redeeming aspect of Bakri Mohammed's conversation about Yusuf Islam it is this: the broader context is one of famous British Muslims who used to be true believers but who have taken to working too closely with the "kaffirs". The first British Muslim to be knighted, Lord Nazir Ahmed, is also mentioned as a Muslim who had sold out by compromising with the unbelievers.
But if Yusuf Islam used to associate himself with Bakri Mohammed and Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman then clearly his persona non grata status in the United States is justified. And if Islam has truly given money to the families of 'the mujahidin', then the claims by the two British papers sued by Cat Stevens are also correct.
Yusuf Mohammed owes us a pretty big explanation. Either Bakri Mohammed is lying (which would not be the first time) or Cat Stevens' past support of radical Islam goes much deeper than he has admitted. But what would Bakri Mohammed's motivation be if the claim was not true? Normally Bakri Mohammed's lies are in the direction of denying his support of terrorism.
Like many Muslims involved in charity work (thanks to Allah and Newyank for pointing this out), though, Cat Stevens may simply not know where his money is going. Which would say more about Islamic charities than about Islam's character. But Islam continues to openly support Hamas linked charities, has been arrested in Israel for this support, but---like many in the world--simply denies organizations such as Hamas are really 'terrorists'. See also CAIR's defense of Yusuf Islam here.
You can download the audio of Omar Bakri Mohammed tying Cat Stevens to terrorist activities here [right click and "save as"]. Alternative format available for downloading here.
For more on the various terrorist connections of Omar Bakri Mohammed and his followers, please see scroll down through our U.K. Terror and U.K. Terrorism archives, or here. For more video and audio of radical terror supporting Muslims in the U.K., please see Glen Jenvey's extensive archive here.
A) As far as I can tell, this is a completely new set of allegations against Yusuf Islam. He has been accused (and arrested) for funding terror organizations, but I have never heard the specific allegation that he was intimated with Omar Bakri Mohammed & Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman. Also, this is the first time that I have heard that he had funded the families of the "mujahdin".
B) I did not know Cat Stevens had a new album coming out until I began working on this story and did a Google News search. Since the source of this information is Omar Bakri Mohammed, you'll have to ask him what the motivation was.
C) My motivation is no different than any other journalist's, namely the chance to break a big story. Certainly the information came to me because of my long time fight against terrorists and those that support them directly or indirectly. From that fight I became associated with Glen Jenvey.
But what does my motivation have to do with the veracity of the allegations made by Omar Bakri Mohammed? That Bakri Mohammed is a liar is not in doubt in my mind. But, as I have said before, the nature of those lies usually revolves around the his constant denials of being a terror supporter, when clearly he is. I have never heard of him lying about his association with other Muslims.